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Greg McVerry

My First Review of @Shindigevents #digped

3 min read

Since I get to work with so many wonderful volunteers in   different open source communities I am always on the look out for a good event platform. As someone also  trying to bring remote parity to open source events video platforms intrigue me.

Both together and I am quite curios. I had to learn more about Shindig

Looking at the features page Shindig checked off the boxes I would need in a hybrid conference or online teaching classroom.

So I decided to do a review of Shindig. I start with the Terms of Service and Privacy policies. I often find myself, like with Shindig stopping there.

It's boiler plate legalese for Terms of Service (that a lawyer probably charged way too much to cut and paste) but it makes Shindig hard to think about as a platform to use with students or in open source communities. The way I read it Shindig gets granted rights to every submission and comment. They can also remix this in any way. Can't make students sign up for such a service.

By transmitting, posting or otherwise making available through the Platform comments, pieces, ideas or other information, material or content in any form including, but not limited to, visual or audio data (collectively referred to as “Submissions”), you grant to Shindig and our designees a worldwide, non-exclusive, sublicenseable, assignable, royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right (including moral rights) and license to use, reproduce, distribute, create derivative works based on, perform and/or display such Submissions (in whole or in part) in any media now known or hereafter developed, for any purpose whatsoever, without compensation to you or any other provider of the Submissions.

In fact, I am a bit grossed out (I do know this is usually cut and paste and every start up does all it can to reduce legal fees). How can a video chat be considered private if the platform owns the rights to the data and expressively has the right to display the submission?

Exact opposite of private.

I read the privacy policy. It did not provide any information.

Shindig is founded by Steve Gottlieb. He is a person I have trusted and brings an indie vibe from way back, like to my Nine Inch Nails album...back.  So again I don't think the ToS may reflect the company culture.

Based on Crunchbase Shindig has raised $12 million initially and then $20 million dollars from Pritzker Vlock. Some cursory searching shows Pritzker Vlock Family Office has some decent values and a tendency to want to back family-owned businesses. I dig that.

Having a single fund or an investor in a round also make me happy. More stability when less idiots invited to sit at the Cap Table.

Still all that money though makes me a bit suspicious of the ToS...It ain't bootstrapped and trying to cut any corner on a legal bill.

Enterprise sales seems to be route to monetization so that is a plus for user data, but I do worry if ToS written for flexibility at acquisition.

I was looking forward to checking out shindig. I may still join John Warner's talk but the terms of service and privacy statements need greater clarity before I could recommend it as an event or teaching tool for open source or communities. 

Steve Gottlieb should take ten minutes and write the ToS in a way that reflects his indie history. Screw lawyers.


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